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Old 07-31-2007, 11:15 PM   #1
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Default Treats for training?

I want to reinforce with treats but I'm worried about over feeding. Just curious what the best reinforcement treat is when doing repetition in training -- kender isn't quite ready for hard treats I think so it needs to be something soft if possible.

Any ideas? I did a Ctrl+F search on the forum page to see if I could find a thread already on this but I didn't see one -- i may be overlooking it! If so, my apologies~

Thanks in advance~
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:24 PM   #2
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I've used cut up bits of hot dog. They really love it and used in moderation it's less fattening (and less expensive) than store bought treats.
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:28 PM   #3
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I agree, hotdogs are good! You can microwave them into little tiny treats. I've also used microwaved bacon, and those 50 cent ham packages and microwave them. They also have tiny little soft training treats they sell at the pet store-I think Bil-Jac makes some in a carton, they are "liver treats" or something like that.

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Old 07-31-2007, 11:40 PM   #4
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I use cheerios sometime but I try not to. If I don't have anything on hand I use 4-5 to have Kira go through some basic commands before feeding her.

Another option is raw cut up carrots. No nutritional value unless pureed, but it cleans their teeth!

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Old 07-31-2007, 11:42 PM   #5
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yepp.. I agree with the rest.. I use little cut bits of hot dogs or blood pudding dried in the oven (that is even more healthy).

Treats are only suposed to be a swift taste, this so they dont get full of it. and I can say like this, I used treats period in my right hand the first 2 years on my dog and that got her so strongly reinforced that as grown she is still glued to my side

I am all for it good luck!
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Old 07-31-2007, 11:44 PM   #6
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Ooh thanks for the tips, guys! I started a diet a bit ago and have some hot dogs I can't eat in the fridge -- yay for finding a use for them!

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Old 07-31-2007, 11:45 PM   #7
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I use the Bil Jac's liver treats and cut them in half (they're pretty big even though they're training treats, especially for a puppy). I also use sliced hot dogs, little scraps of whole wheat bread, bits of cheese (for the really big rewards), and pretty much any small piece of 'human' food. Cassie is really food-oriented though so you may need to experiment to see what your dog likes.

Right now our garden is overflowing with beans so I cut those up and use em
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Old 08-01-2007, 12:12 AM   #8
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My students use a wide variety of things. If they use hot dogs, I strongly recommend low fat/low salt hot dogs. Hot dogs are extremely high in sodium and fat and as healthy for the dogs as they are for us. Many of my students use human type foods for new behaviors that will require extra motivation. Some of these include left over steak, boiled boneless, skinless chicken breasts (a healthier alternative), or liver. Some of my students buy liver and cook it slowly in the oven on low heat for hours. it turns it dry and very tastey (to dogs!). Some of my students use cheese. This includes string cheese, which is a white cheese and a bit healthier.

Other treats my students use include a wide variety of treats from "premium" treat makers. Zuks Salmon Training Treats are all the rage. Many of my students use Bil Jac's Gooberlishish treats. These are large, so break them down into sixths. Bil Jac treats are higher in sodium I have been told, so be aware. Also, many of my students shop at dog shows for new, different and healthier treats. There are plenty out there to choose from.

As for size, make sure you are giving TINY treats. Most people make their treat size way too big. Just a nibble is good. Also, use the high end treats (human food) for the most difficult, new training endeavors. Use the lower end treats (store bought treats, biscuits) for the behaviors your dog already knows. Fade the treats away for the behaviors taht are well established.

Always take into account how many treats you gave that day, and subtract an equal amount from their dinner. If you feed small size treats, you shouldn't have to remove much kibble. If you have a puppy under five months old, I wouldn't worry about subtracting yet, just give treats and make sure the pup doesn't become obese! Have fun!
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:00 AM   #9
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Once you get to being able to use solid treats, they make cute little training biscuits. I use these for my crew and they love them! Quite a bit smaller than a milkbone biscuit.
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Old 08-01-2007, 01:27 AM   #10
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My dog isn't a puppy- but a small bit of scrambled egg (unseasoned) is a yummy and inexpensive and to my knowledge (in moderation of course), not unhealthy.
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